Joe Harris has played his way from an afterthought into a long-term piece of the Brooklyn Nets‘ rebuilding plans.
The Brooklyn Nets have been in a huge slump over the past couple weeks. The cause of the slump—injuries. A long list of key players, such as D’Angelo Russell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Trevor Booker have all missed games recently. With the Nets starters missing games, the bench players have really stepped up for Brooklyn.
Spencer Dinwiddie has been the biggest surprise this season for Brooklyn. Dinwiddie has consistently played at an elite level in the absence of Russell. Bringing energy and a winning attitude with leadership skills has made Dinwiddie outstanding. With him at the starting point guard now, Joe Harris has been given an opportunity to prove himself in meaningful minutes off the bench.
Harris has really stepped up for the Nets. The six-foot-six guard has been playing more often and become a key piece of the Nets’ offensive attack. Averaging 21 minutes a game in the last five games for Brooklyn, Harris has excelled in his new role: Come off the bench, electrify the offense with his sharpshooting, and be aggressive.
The month of November has been huge for Harris. He has shown he is not afraid to shoot from behind the arc. Improving his three-point shooting became a personal goal for himself heading into the season.
“That’s just a personal goal of mine,” Harris told Brian Lewis of the New York Post in September. “I hovered around 38 and 39 percent last year. If you look at all the top shooters in the NBA, guys that might be specialists — like how I see myself as a good shooter and specialist — they’re always 40 percent and above. So that’s a personal goal for me to get into that elite 3-point shooting percentage.”
Harris is shooting the three-ball at .350 this month, which is what is what the Nets need him to do. He usually shoots an average of seven three-pointers a game when he is on the court for 20-plus minutes—especially in transition. He loves the catch-and-shoot game, much like Cleveland’s sharpshooter, Kyle Korver. But Korver is known for his three-point shooting—Harris’s game is more than hoisting threes.
He has shown a lethal mid-range game to go along with his three-point shooting. He’s shooting .466 from mid-range this month and become someone other teams need to pay attention to. A big piece of his mid-range game has been driving to the basket. He is very aggressive and loves to draw contact. That’s led to a series of and-one opportunities ending in three-point plays.
Harris is one of the biggest surprises for the Nets this season. Coach Kenny Atkinson loves Harris’ play and confidence as a Net. Harris is a solid piece for the Nets while they are in rebuilding mode. He will be a huge piece for the Nets in the future.